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Pots and Politics: Ceramic Interpretations in Southern Africa

Martin Hall
World Archaeology
Vol. 15, No. 3, Ceramics (Feb., 1984), pp. 262-273
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/124626
Page Count: 12
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Pots and Politics: Ceramic Interpretations in Southern Africa
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Abstract

Ceramic classifications may be particularly informative when seeking to understand the manner in which the contemporary environment moulds archaeological interpretations. Methods of ceramic classification used for southern African Iron Age material have been drawn from both British and American archaeology and, although there are superficial differences in technique, both approaches have a similar perception of the nature of Iron Age society. In this model, ceramic cultures and traditions are identified with tribes and the assumptions of colonial ethnography perpetuated. It is suggested that this style of interpretation reflects a general, heightened ethnic awareness in southern Africa.

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